The Ideal Salesperson
Meatloaf once sang a song with the lyrics, “I want you. I need you. But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you. But don’t be sad, cause two out of three ain’t bad.”
Finding a successful salesperson is part luck, part timing, and part knowing what you’re looking for. You can’t have perfect. You won’t find perfect. You want the right personality, the right level of experience, and, perhaps, the right level of technical skills. If that’s the case, get used to hearing Meatloaf’s song in your head as you go through the hiring process.
So, what should you be looking for in your search for the ideal candidate?
A blog is typically 250 to 300 words. PIworld has strict guidelines, but according to my contract, “A blog where Meatloaf is quoted can exceed that limit if for no other reason than to explain why Meatloaf was quoted.”
So, to keep this short, I will give you one characteristic and one sales skill to look for.
A characteristic is a personality trait. You either have it or you don’t. Can it be taught? Yes, but more often than not, baby, you were born that way. The one characteristic I would choose, then, is drive. In other words—diligence, persistency, sticktoitiveness. It is the single most important factor in your sales success, bar none. Don’t leave home without it.
As for the one sales skill—that is, something that can be taught—I’m going to go with the ability to do pre-call research on a prospect and come up with a valuable and powerful statement to make when attempting to gain an appointment. This one you can acquire. And should.
If I get a third choice, I’m going to go with superior communication skills. That is, outstanding writing and speaking abilities.
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.